Our Financial Policy
As practitioners and staff, we are passionate about what we do, and we feel that we have a calling to provide as many people as possible with the highest quality natural health care possible. Just as our services are unique to this region, our financial policies set us apart from mainstream medicine. We have prepared this handout to answer questions you or your family members may have about the rationale for our financial policies. If, after reading this, you still have questions, feel free to speak with our staff.
Why We Must Charge What We Charge
Often patients don’t appreciate the behind the scenes work that goes into a successful treatment strategy. Our practitioners are not salaried, as are practitioners who are employed in large clinics and hospitals and whose salaries are partially subsidized by expensive diagnostic and surgical procedures and hospital fees. Our practitioners’ pay is based solely on the time and services they provide. Like all non-salaried professionals, including lawyers and accountants, our practitioners must charge for their time so we can afford to provide you with care and remain in business. Our practitioners spend considerable non-reimbursed time each week consulting with each other (and other providers) regarding your care, reviewing your records, and meeting with staff to improve the quality of our services.
In follow-up visits, our practitioners spend significant time discussing your results with you. For example, it is relatively simple to inform a patient that her mammogram is negative; but it is entirely different to discuss the results of more complex functional evaluations and to recommend practical lifestyle and dietary strategies that may help to prevent breast cancer. Patients often complain that conventional practitioners do little to nothing in the way of truly preventive medicine. We want you to understand that preventive health care takes considerable time and expertise on the part of the practitioner.
About the Charges for Our Practitioners’ Services
Some patients may have the mistaken impression that our practitioners take home the majority of the fees we charge for their services and that the practitioners have a great deal of leeway to offer discounts for those fees. In fact, our practitioners take home only a fraction of the fees collected for their services. This is because a clinic like ours requires highly trained staff and extensive, expensive professional continuing education. The majority of our fees support the overall mission of providing high-quality natural health care, not the practitioners’ paychecks. Our practitioners have chosen this work because it is their passion and their calling and certainly not because it is a way to make a lucrative income. In fact, most practitioners who choose to practice functional medicine know that their income will be substantially lower than it would be if they were practicing in a more conventional manner that is fully supported by the healthcare reimbursement system.
Why We Recommend Nutritional Supplements and How We Price Them
We recommend nutritional supplements as an adjunct to dietary and lifestyle modification. This approach is central to the well-researched and science-based practice of functional medicine, which all of our professional staff have studied. We recommend but do not sell therapeutic, quality nutritional supplements as a service to our patients. With a few exceptions, we do not recommend nutritional products of similar quality to those that are widely available over the counter. We recommend high-quality nutritional products from the top nutritional research laboratories in North America and Great Britain.